Tennessee is bringing in the New Year with new laws in 2019

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2019 | General Law

Tennessee is bringing in the New Year with new laws in 2019. The changes in the law are numerous, expanding from laws affecting motor vehicles to laws that affect water pollution. Tennessee has about 31 new laws that became effective as of January 1, 2019, and several of the laws effect, in one way or another, some controversial topics.

Laws governing abortion are affected by some of the newly enacted laws. HB 0108 now requires abortion cases where an ultrasound is performed as part of an examination prior to an abortion, the person who performs the ultrasound must now offer the woman the opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound. Additionally, if an ultrasound is performed prior to the termination of the pregnancy, the report of abortion must indicate whether a heartbeat was detected. Tenn. Ann. Code §39-15-203

Handgun permits are also affected by the new 2019 legislation, by HB 1038. If a person applying for a carry permit has successfully completed a department of correction firearms qualification within 5 years preceding applying, they are exempt from the firing range and classroom hours requirements that were previously in place for obtaining a handgun. Tenn. Code Ann. §39-17-1351. This amendment allows for applicants to complete either the department approved handgun safety course that involves classroom hours and firing range hours or a completion of the department of correction firearms qualifications, along with the other requirements.

SB 0619 requires each local board of education to develop a policy to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water in public schools that were constructed before January 1, 1998, in order to better protect the health of the Tennessee children. Tenn. Ann. Code §49-2-133. The Tennessee statute sets forth the guidelines for what constitutes the correct lead levels and the actions that will occur if tests results in inappropriate level amounts.

SB 2306 now allows for licensing authorities to have the discretion whether to suspend, deny, or revoke a license based on the applicant or licensee having defaulted or having become delinquent on a student loan payment. So long as the licensing authority determines that the default or delinquency is the result of a medical hardship that prevented the person from working in the person’s licensed field and the medical hardship has significantly contributed to the default or delinquency.

Although there have clearly been some changes in the law that affect some more serious issues, the Tennessee state legislature still provided Tennesseans with a new law that they can “toast” to. Alcoholic beverages and wine can now be sold on Sundays in grocery stores as well as liquor stores. Until this bill was effective, liquor stores could sell alcohol on Sundays beginning in April, but grocery stores were not able to begin selling alcoholic beverages until the first Sunday of 2019. However, grocery stores are still prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages on holidays such as Easter, Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The attorneys at Breeding Henry Baysan always remain up-to-date on all the newly enacted laws. Whatever your legal issue may be, our informed and knowledgeable attorneys are happy to assist you in finding a solution!